The Bulls again put up a good fight in a 98-91 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night at the Staples Center, but they just didn't make enough plays down the stretch to beat a really good team on its home court.
The Bulls also didn't make enough shots. They shot 39.5 percent overall and made just four of 20 three-point attempts. Aside from Derrick Rose (2-for-5) the rest of the Bulls were 2-for-15 from behind the line.
Bad shooting nights are going to happen. What also hurt the Bulls down the stretch was the Lakers burned them nearly every time they aggressively doubled Kobe Bryant. Steve Blake and Matt Barnes combined for three three-pointers during a decisive 17-2 fourth-quarter run as Bryant swung the ball after being trapped on the side.
The Bulls also were victimized by former Proviso East star Shannon Brown, who had 21 points off the bench on 5-for-10 shooting from behind the three-point line.
Rose on Brown:
"He's shooting the ball well this year and he's got a lot of confidence. He's doing great for them. We should have made him a driver."
Lakers coach Phil Jackson on Brown's improvement:
"Shannon had a little hesitation whether he should shoot or drive [in the past]. He's got so much confidence right now. He's real comfortable in taking the shot."
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau on Lakers beating his double teams on Bryant:
"When you put two on the ball, you have to close out hard, you have to cover that line and you have to challenge their shots. I thought they got uncontested shots and they made them."